Despite my ambivalance about Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger was always one of those actors that would sway me toward seeing a movie, because I knew he could act. Even when it was in something fairly silly, like Cassonova, he had a presence on the screen, and I liked that. And he starred in The Brothers Grimm, which was one of those films that Terry Gilliam wasn’t happy about, but was still far and away better than anything else out there (typical Gilliam).
Then, Heath Ledger got the role of The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s next Batman movie, The Dark Knight, and I was thrilled. I was very impressed at the photos I saw, and I was blown away when I actually saw a trailer. The still photos didn’t do justice, not even a little. You had to see the strange, strange way that he moved as the Joker. The odd way that he spoke as the Joker. The photos serve only as a reminder, once you’ve seen him moving. He brought a gravity and an off-kilter insanity to the Joker, and it was perfect, and I was beyond excited to see the Dark Knight.
And I still am. But it was through LoLCatz this morning that I followed this link, and my first thought — always my first thought — was “this is a joke article,” and the first thing I look for is the goofy Onion-esque punch line being played mock-seriously. And then I realize a second later that it’s not a joke. And even when it’s someone you don’t know, someone whose work you follow in a half-ish sort of way…it’s a punch to the gut. It always should be.